The need to bring cohabitation laws into the 21st century has been highlited by a recent case where a woman, Joy,  faced losing the home she had shared with her deceased partner for 20 years. He had not divorced or made a new will, and when he suddenly died from a heart attack,  his estranged wife claimed the house. However, the judge ruled in Joy’s favour, recognising that they had lived as ‘husband and wife’ for many years, and awarded her her partner’s half of the house to provide her with security.